North Hamgyong Province
|• Revised Romanization||Hamgyeongbuk-do|
|Subdivisions||4 cities; 12 counties|
|• Party Committee Chairman||Ri Hi-yong (WPK)|
|• People's Committee Chairman||Ri Sang-kwan|
|• Total||20,345 km2 (7,855 sq mi)|
|• Density||110/km2 (300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Pyongyang Time)|
North Hamgyong Province (Hamgyŏngbukdo, Korean pronunciation: [ham.ɡjʌŋ.buk̚.t͈o]) is the northernmost province of North Korea. The province was formed in 1896 from the northern half of the former Hamgyong Province.
The province is bordered by China (Jilin) on the north, South Hamgyong on the southwest and Ryanggang on the west. On the east is the Sea of Japan. The province is home to the Musudan-ri rocket launching site and the Hoeryong concentration camp. In 2004, Rason was reabsorbed back into the province and since 2010, Rason is again a Directly Governed City.
In critical studies of North Korea, North Hamgyong has a reputation as a neglected and underdeveloped region even by the country's standards. It was where the 1990s famine hit hardest, and food shortages persist even in the 2020s. The majority of North Korean defectors who live in South Korea came from the province after crossing the relatively shallow Tumen River into China. Therefore the conditions of the province, which analyst Fyodor Tertitskiy has described as "not only a very grim, but also a very boring place," tend to be projected onto the whole country, even though they are not representative.
North Hamgyong is divided into three cities (si) and 12 counties (kun). These are further divided into villages (ri) in rural areas and dong (neighborhoods) in cities. Some cities are also divided into wards known as "kuyŏk", which are administered just below the city level.
In popular culture
- Cha Ki-seong (played by Kim Joo-hyuk), the main antagonist of the 2017 South Korean action comedy film Confidential Assignment is revealed to be a native of Hoeryong, one of the main cities of North Hamgyong Province.
- One of the main characters of Netflix's famous South Korean thriller series Squid Game, Kang Sae-byeok (played by Jung Ho-yeon) is a North Korean defector who is originally from North Hamgyong Province and lived there before defecting with her younger brother Kang Cheol to South Korea.
- "Organizational Chart of North Korean Leadership" (PDF). Seoul: Political and Military Analysis Division, Intelligence and Analysis Bureau; Ministry of Unification. January 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
- https://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/sources/census/wphc/North_Korea/Final%20national%20census%20report.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- "North Hamgyong Province convenes meeting to address food shortages" Daily NK
- Tertitskiy, Fyodor (8 July 2016). "The flaws and biases in North Korean studies". NK News. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- Park, Hanna (October 14, 2021). "Jung Ho-yeon of 'Squid Game' on dark twists in series, light mood on set". NBC News. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021. Retrieved October 15, 2021.